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  • Molly Higgins

If the Labor Shortage is Real, How Come My Tippie Classmates Have Never Held a Job?

A chart of unemployment rates displayed over University of Iowa students.

The US Chamber of Commerce reports that there are 10 million job openings in the United States, but only 5.7 million unemployed workers. The labor shortage has been blamed for every economic ill in the past three years, from high inflation to why you had to wait 47 minutes to receive your Taco Bell order (and it wasn’t even that busy anyway, it was just, like, a random Tuesday at 3pm).

This is one of many instances in which the numbers and data generated by economists fail to account for real-life issues. If there is actually a shortage of workers to fill jobs in this economy, then how come none of my classmates in the Tippie College of Business have ever seemed to work a job in their lives?

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently reassured the country that the economy is in good shape. However, signs of unemployment are everywhere. Lost and forlorn students spend their days drinking and getting spray tans instead of contributing to society. Econ majors voice opposition to raising the minimum wage “because of the invisible hand.” Deprived of real skills like cooking or construction, young men gather to discuss things like crypto and stock trading, which are fake and made up.

These unemployed students aren’t lazy by not working a job– they’ve simply never needed to. In high school, their parents provided them with a generous allowance while they “pursued their lacrosse career.” Now, they just haven’t gotten around to it. What’s the rush anyways, when their uncle’s got a spot reserved in the company for them after graduation?

Our investigative journalists decided to get the perspective of current Tippie students on this pressing economic challenge. We asked Brayden Johnson, a current sophomore studying finance, what he thinks is causing the so-called “labor shortage.”

“Well, you know, it all started during the pandemic when the government was giving too many free handouts with the stimulus checks,” Johnson said. “It made people become dependent on tax dollars for their livelihoods rather than going out and getting a job.”

When asked if he currently worked a job, Johnson responded that he was “focusing on his studies at the moment.” Our sources indicate that he is currently holding a 2.4 GPA.

Likewise, when Doily staff attempted to ask a group of young women in the Pappajohn Business Building if they would consider applying to work at the Freddy’s in the Old Capitol Mall, we were told “no,” “who are you,” and “can you please move out of the way, these hallways are really narrow.”

Something in our current job market has failed these poor, lost young people. Surely these students don’t want to live like this forever. Deep down, they want to work for their Heydude shoes and Lululemon leggings instead of having their dads pay for them. They must know there’s a greater purpose in life than awaiting the next frat party or bar crawl.

I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but there is too much discrepancy between official employment data and the economic woes demonstrated by alcoholic business majors for the government not to be plotting a cover-up. I suspect we are about to enter the worst recession in recent history, and rather than gaining the beautiful character-building of struggling through tough economic times, these poor souls will be left to weather it out on their parent’s boats with a Truly in hand.


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